The LUSD Clinic is a 14-credit course offered over the course of the fall and spring semesters to selected third-year law students. Students are expected to work a minimum of 20 hours a week for 15 weeks per semester. Student clinicians work directly with LUSD Clinic faculty, clients and partners. Students attend and participate in client interviews, negotiations, and public meetings.
Students also engage in a weekly 90-minute classroom seminar, led by faculty and guest speakers. In this seminar, the students are introduced to the substantive law and policy pertaining to land use, water conservation and protection, land use planning, and sustainable development principles so as to effectively undertake the day-to-day work in the LUSD Clinic.
Students receive academic credit based upon their satisfactory completion of both casework and the classroom components of the course.
Students are selected for the program based on academic achievement, relevant work experience, and research and writing skills. Additionally, students must demonstrate a sincere interest in land use and natural resources issues. Satisfactory completion of courses in Property, Land Use, Administrative Law, and Professional Responsibility are preferred but not required. Application requirements and deadlines are announced during the middle of the semester.
Why did you decide to participate in the Land Use Clinic?
"The Center for Energy and Sustainable Development was one of the reasons I chose WVU Law. I shared the vision that both energy development and environmental protection goals can be achieved together. When I enrolled in law school, I was delighted to hear that the accepted 2Ls because I was eager to have a practical experience outside of the classroom."
What is some of the work you’re doing with the clinic?
"The Land Use Clinic gives students an opportunity to work on a variety of projects. I have worked with local governments to develop comprehensive land use plans. The comprehensive land use plan lays the foundation for the community’s long-term vision, and the plan drives future zoning ordinances and land use regulations. In addition, my teammate and I have met with clients who desire to pursue a conservation easement to protect their land from future development. After the intake meeting, the conservation easement process entails a detailed title search−my property professor would be proud!"